Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dessert Day - the "that's not what we planned on making" edition

So a few days before Christmas, Deidre sent me a text message that included a picture of a recipe she thought we should make for Dessert Day - a red velvet cake star in the middle of a white chocolate cheesecake. We established that we should Dessert Day on the 30th of December, and then the festive season took over and we promptly forgot all about our plans until the night of the 29th of December. Obviously, this led to us vaguely wandering around my local supermarket on Monday morning searching for ingredients for the aforementioned fancy cake, and largely unable to find them (for example, vegetarian gelatine).

So we ultimately abandoned that plan and turned instead to something we've been meaning to make for ages and have never quite gotten around to - Tim Tam cake. We used this recipe with a few alterations:

1. Beat the eggs, then gradually add in the sugar.
2. If you are using a Kitchenaid to beat the eggs, transfer them into a different bowl before adding the dry ingredients, otherwise you'll end up with clumps of flour everywhere thanks to the weird bottom of the Kitchenaid bowl.
3. Make two separate lots of cake batter. We had to throw out the second cake and start from scratch because a) it ended up smaller than the first one, b) it had a giant clump of unmixed flour in it, and c) sitting around while the first one baked didn't do the batter any favours, and it was basically a really sad puddle of grossness. So we started over, and the second (third?!) cake was a dramatic improvement on either of its predecessors.

We also left out the Tim Tams because GLUTEN (and gluten free ones are a) kind of gross, and b) not available at my supermarket), and I'm not convinced that we missed out. Oh, and we added raspberry extract to the frosting for the middle, and it was quite possibly the best decision I've ever made. It was so delicious that it was a struggle to get the frosting into the cake!

Oh, and you could probably cut back the ganache recipe by at least a quarter, because there was way too much. Anyway, enough of my wibbling, let's get to the pictures, which is what you really care about, right?
Sad looking bottom layer of cake

Delicious frosting of epic proportions

Sad cake is less sad once frosting is involved

Second cake added and smothered in ganache

Now with added bite so that it really looks like a Tim Tam

Om nom nom nom nom
We also made lemon sorbet from the Commonsense Cookery Book, a stalwart of Australian kitchens. The recipe is as follows:

4 cups water
2 cups caster sugar
1 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest

Bring water and sugar to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, and boil for five minutes. Cool syrup, then add lemon juice and rind. Pour into refrigerated trays, freeze until syrup becomes mushy. Beat well and freeze again until solid.

Now we, obviously, did the first two steps and then used the ice cream maker to speed things along. Still, when we came to dish it up and take photos, it was baaaaaaaaaasically in a state not much more solid than a Slurpee, and plopped into the parfait glass in a very splashy way. Still, it was delicious. Although I would recommend not using a Microplane to zest the lemons, as it led to little strings of lemon zest all the way through...

Unlike the cake, the sorbet did not photograph particularly well:

Still, it was delicious, and that's what really matters!

What should we make at our next Dessert Day?

K xx


  1. Me: Can I make this Tim Tam cake as cupcakes?
    Kirsti: Sure, but it wouldn't like like a Tim Tam...

    1. Really, all you have to ask yourself is "Do I care if it looks like a Tim Tam?". If no, go make cupcakes.

  2. I commented the other day but blogger ate it as it is wont to do. But basically I think we should make the star cheesecake next time - you know with veg gelatine.

    1. I've since seen recipes for red velvet cake with a cheesecake filling. Perhaps that's the way to go instead given that it means less cheesecake and also less wasted red velvet cake???


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